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You Can't Preach the Gospel if You are Poor
My Testimony of Coming Out of the Movement:
I came out of the prosperity teaching. I was in it for at least ten years. It wasn't the only thing I learned during that time but it was prominent in much of the teachings. I did learn some good and scriptural things amongst the Word-of-Faith-ers so I don't want to say that all these men and women teaching some of this heretical stuff is totally off or not Christian. Some would take the coat off of their back for you.
Anyhow, I do feel I have to expose it for what it is now that I have been out of it for about 15 years. I own about 180 of Kenneth Hagin Sr. and Kenneth Hagin Jr.'s books way back in 1985 and know what they taught and am way more qualified to say what I am going to say today than most people that have been in the movement even for 20 plus years. I even read some of the books 3 to 4 times and I still have almost all of them on my bookshelf should someone want to debate me on this issue.
Many are speaking out against prosperity teachers but were never really in the movement in the first place and totally write off anyone in this movement as being unsaved by which I think is unfair. You can be off in one area and that will lead to more deception eventually if you don't repent of it but most of us have been taught some things that are not scriptural that have nothing to do with money. So let's pray for these people in this movement that God would open their eyes but at the same time speak the truth in love to them.
I challenge any scripture-twisting prosperity teacher out there to show me scripture to back up what they are teaching, that it is God's will for everyone to have riches without (1) pulling the verses out of there context to have them say something they don't say, and (2) as to why you teach it so much and (3) as to why you have telethons if you believe what you teach (just speak it forth) and (4) as to why you have so many people in your congregations that are in debt and (5) why you didn't repent when in 1999 when Kenneth Hagin Sr. rebuked you guys for teaching things he never taught, and (6) why there are just as many wealthy people who aren't saved, or who are in denominations like the Baptist or Methodist who don't teach this doctrine or believe this doctrine.
The Discussion and Teaching:
I heard a very famous prosperity preacher along with two other famous prosperity preachers on TBN (Take your Bucks Network) make this comment - "You can't preach the gospel if you are poor." These guys are so ignorant of the Word of God that I wanted to puke. What are they reading out of - The Make It up as You Go Bible? Let's compare that statement to scripture. Most scripture isn't hard to understand and Peter said that no scripture is of any PRIVATE INTERPRETATION so if anyone tells you they have a new revelation - you better WATCH OUT!
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
A Few Verses of Scripture to Prove My Point:
Let's start with this one - Jesus said to take no purse with you.
Mar 6:7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
Mar 6:8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
Mar 6:9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.
I think that verse is self-explanatory. God doesn't need a lot to get the job done - He is omnipotent (all powerful). He created the whole Universe in 6 days. I'm not sure what God you are serving. He just needs faithful and obedient people. He multiplied the fish and the loaves. He doesn't need our money. At least this is the God I serve. Yes, Deuteronomy 8:18 says He gives you power to get wealth but you better read what is written right before that verse and He also said in Deuteronomy 8:18b the wealth was for to establish His covenant on Earth - it is to go to the gospel - it wasn't supposed to be hoarded up to live a life of luxury and buy $20,000 toilet seat covers. Just go on YouTube and see what the unsaved think of this teaching of yours. It is keeping them out of the kingdom. They think you are all a bunch of thieves and some of you are.
Mat 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
Alas, the deceitfulness (G539 [apatay]; meaning delusion) of riches (G4149 [ploutos]; meaning money, possessions, abundance). How many have I seen fall away from God because of this one? Many - and myself included! I should have been serving God all those years but I was seeking after what they told me God wanted for me.
Next Verse: What did Jesus Himself say?
Luk 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Mammon is usually associated with money or the world. Matthew Henry explains Mammon this way: "Mammon is a Syriac word that signifies gain; so that whatever in this world is, or is accounted by us to be, gain (Philippians 3:7) is mammon. Whatever is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life is mammon. Self, the unity in which the world's trinity centers - sensual, secular self - is the mammon which cannot be served in conjunction with God."
Matthew Henry is basically saying anything that we account as gain or so important in this life is mammon and is idolatry. No wonder Jesus talked about those gaining the whole world and losing their souls. Idolatry was always in their heart just like the rich man who thought he had kept the commandments yet loved his possessions more than God.
Mar 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
Mar 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
Mar 10:19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
Mar 10:20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
Mar 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
Mar 10:22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
Mar 10:23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
Mar 10:24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
Mar 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
You can believe men or you can believe the Words of Jesus. It is your choice.
There are many who are falling away and just don't know it yet; they have put their trust in riches and love the world more than loving God. The sad thing is they are encouraged to go after money and things. Their heart isn't right because they are seeking after riches instead of the kingdom of God and His righteousness. I'm not saying you can't have nice things but a problem in the church today is nice things have people. When 98% do not share their faith regularly but have time for so many other things and no concern for the lost, you tell me what God they are serving. If you worked hard for what you have, you appreciate it more and take care of it. Can you give it away right now if God asked you to? We have selective hearing a lot of times when it is things we don't want to hear from God. And if you give your life away for the gospel, you should only want the money so you can give it away to missions. And to flaunt money as some of these preachers do on TV is to cause others to commit covetousness in their hearts by their bragging. My Bible says to not make your brother stumble. I spent many years storing up treasure on Earth but I regret it. My goal is to store up in Heaven now as we are commanded or prodded by Jesus to do. I want my heart on heavenly things and to reach as many people as possible. Everyone who is living for self right now will, if they are truly saved, regret it at the Bema Seat Judgment.
And yes, you can have nothing and still be greedy. I know that. But that isn't the point of this teaching. That is straw man argument. I'm just trying to show you these men's words versus the words of Jesus - drastic contradictions and we are only touching on a very few. My prayer lately is for God to take my sight so that I can truly see. I want His heart. I get mad anymore when people lie to people and call it teaching and preaching.
The apostle Paul did without much some of the time to where he had to make tents to provide for his ministry along with providing for those who came with him.
Php 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Php 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Didn't believe me about Paul providing for himself and those with him? It is right in the scriptures. I wonder how many of these preachers teaching false doctrine would go out and work a 20 to 40 hour a week job and still minister and do it faithfully for years?
Act 20:33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
Act 20:34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
Act 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Sufficient unto the day is the EVIL thereof. Let that one sink in prosperity preachers. As a matter of fact, read the whole chapter of Matthew 6 and you are left with one conclusion - you either have to call Jesus a liar or yourself a liar.
I wouldn't do the first if I were you.
I honestly hope that many of these preachers are teaching this in ignorance.
I call all of you to repentance right now for teaching this false doctrine for the last 30 plus years or so. You will be judged for this in the future if you don't. Let the blood of Jesus cleanse you now while it can. Yes, you will lose a lot if you publicly confess your sin but people will respect you for it in the long haul and God will be pleased with you. It is about being a god-pleaser anyhow and not being a man-pleaser.
What God are they serving? The God who can't provide unless He first taps into the Federal Reserve - the private banking industry?
I guess these preachers don't read or teach certain parts of the scriptures because it messes with their ungodly false teachings. And if they have faith and claim you can just speak money into existence, why do they have telethons and why are many if not most of their congregants in debt? How do I know that? Because of another false teaching called Debt Cancellation Anointing that is also taught by these same preachers and teachers. Wisdom is known by her fruit the scriptures say. Show me that in scripture. My Bible says not put yourself in debt in the first place and most debt in America is because people are worldly and have to have the best of everything. Keeping up with the Joneses is covetousness. If you have to have it because Mr. Jones has it, you are coveting what he has and you are breaking the tenth commandment. Most in this camp lack contentedness which is part of godly character. There are the few people who have had calamity hit them who are struggling financially but most in America can barely afford food yet they have cell phones, cable TV, the internet, and other luxuries that were non-existent years ago. And almost every one of these things has taken the place of God on the throne of their hearts.
Many say they have no time to read their Bibles or to share their faith, yet they have all kinds of time to hold onto the world and their worldly possessions. I agree with Paul Washer about Facebook and things like that - put those childish things away. If you are not using it for the gospel, what good is it? And if you have to water down the truth to those who you might be speaking to on these web places, you aren't doing God any favors. You are only fooling yourself.
I hear so much teaching on this kind of stuff - this kind of faith - yet these same people haven't been able to speak forth jobs into this country have they? Yet our government is putting in 257 Chinese Foreign Trade Zones and going to have Chinese workers living here and working in our country while many Americans are jobless. They are probably too busy thinking about themselves then to even think about doing that. They are probably trying to speak that new Mercedes Benz into existence. If you believe what you say, prove it.
All one has to do is listen to their own prayers and they can gauge where your heart truly is for out of the heart the mouth speaketh. Let's see what else our Savior says.
Luk 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
If we would have followed the scriptures to begin with, we would not feel a need for all of this self-centered, man-centered, self-esteem teaching. Who really is on the throne of our hearts? We all need to ask ourselves that question. I do all of the time. Don't think I don't have to deal with the same worldly pullings. There is a tug-of-war going on - the spirit fighting the flesh. Also, we need to ask ourselves some serious questions to make our calling and election sure. Are we serving God or self? Are we serving God for what we can get out of Him? Are we serving God only when our lives are screwed up and we are begging for His help? Do we treat Him like He is a Santa Claus? Do we ask Him how to pray for people before we pray for them to make sure we are praying His will into their lives and not agreeing with someone's selfish motives and desires?
When it comes down to it, if people were sold out to Jesus, they wouldn't care about all these things they feel they have to have in life. They would either be using those things for the sake of the gospel or they would be so busy about God's work that they wouldn't have much time to enjoy them anyhow. I feel most complete when I am around those of like mind who only want to please God, win the lost, count the cost, and forsake all. This world has nothing to offer worth forfeiting what God has. What shall it profit to gain the WHOLE WORLD and to lose one's soul? People are willing to sell their soul for a nickel today.
In saying all of this, I can give at least 100 more scriptures that contradict all of the false prosperity teaching teachings. If the verses I gave are not enough for you, and you rather esteem man's doctrine over the one who shed His blood for you, I can't help you. You have become self-centered and blind to the very Words of the Savior. Just read what Jesus said to the church of Laodicea.
Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
That's pretty bad when you are going around "spiritually-speaking" poor, blind, and naked.
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
God still loves you. Thank Him for His rebuke and chastisement when it comes to you. He does it because He loves you so that you will repent. I know I won't be popular posting this video but I desire to please my Heavenly Father and these men haven't repented for 12 years now and they have been confronted by Kenneth Hagin Sr. along with some others.
Jesus is telling you to look at your life and to zealously (fervently) repent.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Jesus is trying to get back into the church and into your life - but it will cost you.
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Rev 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Ask yourself this. Did you just try to spiritualize that verse like it had some hidden meaning or something because it was hard for you to swallow? Or did you say, "Wow! Lord Jesus, please forgive me for putting my trust and love into the things of this world. I am opening the door. Come back strong into my life. I repent of my sins and for living for self. Thank you Lord for your rebuke and chastisement. I will not despise your chastisements because I know they are for my own good. I receive it. Lord, take this idolatrous, greedy worldly heart out of me, and change me into a true disciple and help me forsake all now. Amen!"
How you reacted to this last scripture reading clearly shows your heart.
My intent with this video is not to put condemnation on anyone but for the hopes that some would see their folly and come to repentance on this matter. Oh, what God can do if the church would come to repentance.